Hello Lily Malone and welcome to Author’s Limelight! A huge congratulations to you on the release of ‘Fairway to Heaven’. I love that cover – very clever!
Thank you for having me Sarah. You have very interesting (and tricky to answer) questions!
What was the first story you ever wrote?
Oh please don’t remind me. I called it Fringe Benefits and it has been the bane of my life for three years. It was my first attempt at writing romance and I think I threw every possible trope into it except Secret Baby. For example, it was a reunion romance, between a boss and employee, that involved a marriage of convenience. Midway through this year I dubbed it: “The Book That Shall Never Be Written” and abandoned it. Then I started Fairway To Heaven, which is now finished. (I had SO much more fun writing that).
Of all the individuals you have created, do you have a particular favourite? What appeals to you the most about this character?
Hmm. Having just answered the question about the First Story I ever wrote (and the book that shall never be written), would you believe that the character who I think is my favourite, is Seth Lasrey from That Book? Seth was the epitomy of a stereotypical romance writer’s hero, Arrogant, Tall, Dark, Rich. In my mind he looks like Timothy Olyphant (Deadwood, & Justified). This guy hits all my buttons. His character in Deadwood was even called Seth…
Has being published changed you at all? If so, how?
It hasn’t changed me, except I have more confidence about my writing prowess having gone through the credibility check of having a Publisher say: “We Want Your Book”. Thank you Kate Cuthbert & Escape Publishing for accepting my debut novel, His Brand Of Beautiful (published March 2013).
What would we find on your bookshelf / e-reader?
Right now we are living in a rental house and I don’t have a bookshelf. We really culled our bookshelf when we moved interstate at the beginning of this year. The print books I return to again and again are: anything by John Sandford, particularly the ‘Prey’ novels. The Twilight Saga. The Earth’s Children books (Jean M Auel). And the books that have been with me longest are The Silver Brumby books by Elynne Mitchell.
On my Kindle right now are: Gather The Bones by Alison Stuart, and Fast Forward by Juliet Madison, and I recently finished your book Sarah, Hindsight, which (along with The Yearning by Kate Belle & House For All Seasons by Jenn J McLeod) is one of my favourite books of the year.
Awww, thanks so much Lily!
What’s the most unappealing thing you’ve ever eaten?
Unappealing?? Gosh. I love my food. I can’t really imagine I’ve ever eaten something that didn’t appeal. I enjoy cooking, but I’ve never been one of those women who can magically decorate a cake (for example) or garnish a meal so that it looks gorgeous. When it comes to food, presentation definitely comes second to me after taste. So I guess you could say that a fair degree of my cooking might ‘look’ unappealing, but usually it’s reasonably tasty. There. How’s that for a very long answer to what should have been a single word question!
If you could be any of the following characters for one day, who would you be and why? How would you re-write the ending?
a) Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind.
b) Thelma or Louise from Thelma and Louise.
c) Princess Leia from Starwars.
d) Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffanys.
Consider me your slave for life. Please. Please. Please, can I be Princess Leia. I have been a Star Wars nut all my life. I think Star Wars was my first obsession. Or it may have been Harrison Ford who was my first obsession. But that didn’t matter, the two went hand in hand.
As for changing the ending. Lordy, pick me up off the floor. Why would I want to change an ending where I (as Princess Leia) get to live and love with Han Solo (Harrison Ford when he was young and extremely do-able… err… gorgeous) for the rest of my life??
The ending change? I would not. (Yoda-speak)
Of all the books in history, which do you wish you wrote and why?
Kate Belle’s The Yearning. Such a gutsy, gritty book in my opinion. I have a lousy memory so even if you offer me all of history, I’ll tend to return to the most recent incredible thing I read.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
Oh! I don’t know… just one superpower? I think I’d like to be able to use The Force… and a light saber.
My boys have light sabre night lights on their walls, Lily. Sooo cool! My husband even has one in his office, (big kid).
If you could go back in time, where would you go and when? What is one thing you would want to take with you?
I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with the William Wallace period of Scottish/English history. Possibly I’d go back to that kind of era. Or maybe Robin Hood. What would I take with me? A toothbrush.
Can you tell us about your works in progress?
As I mentioned way back when you started asking me these incredibly brilliant questions, I said I’d just ditched The Book That Shall Never Be Written. What I then started doing was writing a new story, Fairway To Heaven, based on my entry for the 2013 Little Gems (Sapphire). It’s a golf romance about love on the greens and lust in the bunkers. It’s a very personal story about one woman’s struggle to regain her sexuality and her independence after the birth of her son, and it’s set in the beautiful coastal playgrounds of Busselton and Margaret River in South West WA.
Now that Fairway is finished, maybe, just maybe, I’ll turn my head back to writing The Book That Might One Day Be Written.
Finally, can you give us a sneaky excerpt from Fairway To Heaven, please?
Then Geographe Bay unfurls before us, curving sweet as a wine glass, mile on mile of sand the colour of white pepper, strewn with dry strands of brown seaweed as if the mermaids cut their hair.
Busselton Jetty straddles the water far to the right. Where the famous landmark meets the coast, pines jut from the foreshore.
“There’s a train that runs out the jetty now,” Brayden says. “You’ll have to take him out there.”
“Maybe. We’ll see.” I don’t like forking out cash on tourist things Seb won’t remember. “This is a good spot.”
Brayden spreads the towels to mark our territory and I rummage in my bag for sunscreen to squirt over Seb’s arms and legs.
My city brain struggles to comprehend all this space. We’re in prime school holiday time, yet it isn’t packed. Near the jetty—with its fun parks and cafes—there’ll be crowds, but here, there’s nobody in our pocket. I like that.
“Here.” I hand Seb’s cap to Brayden. “You see if you have the knack to get him to keep it on.”
Brayden bends low to pick the bulldozer out of my bag and carries it to where last night’s high tide has left its signature.
He gives the dozer to Seb, and Seb squats on the sand. As he starts ploughing, Brayden stoops to my son’s level, and fits the cap over his curls.
I wait for those little hands to send that hat cartwheeling toward the sea, and of course, he leaves it perfectly in place.
My sun-smart little angel.
I lay back on the towel, resting on my elbows. The sand is incredibly fine. I bury, and then lift my feet, making sand pour between my toes.
A hundred metres to our left a group of kids plays cricket, every thirty seconds or so I hear the whack of bat on ball and shouts of “catch it” and “run”.
Beyond them, at least three different sets of people are walking—two in pairs, one solitary—all with dogs. A jogger cuts through them, heading in our direction.
The bay is millpond quiet. Shallow waters stroke the shore. A boat noses along an imaginary line where the aqua waters merge with the darker depths. I think the guy in the front is pulling crab pots, but I can’t tell if he’s having any luck.
Sarah – thank you so much. I loved these questions and it is a pleasure to be part of your blog!
Thanks so much for coming Lily, and congratulations again on Fairway to Heaven. I can’t wait to read it!